Africa update: Students take center stage

March 29, 2019
By Cathy Bruce
MUTARE, Zimbabwe – If our Africa delegation were to embrace a theme for Thursday, I would say it was students. All throughout the day we interacted with students. We sat in on classes with them, we ate with them, they made a presentation to us and they guided us around campus.

The one thing all the students shared was a love and passion for Africa University! The students come from many countries, and within those countries they come from many backgrounds. Check out the photos for a glimpse of some of the students at Africa University.

We were invited to attend classes with the students. Four of us attended a church history class that was discussing ethics surrounding HIV/AIDS and the church. The class consisted of graduated students who were either current or aspiring pastors. The discussion, led by teacher Rev. Bondo, was lively and spirited.

Others attended a symposium completely planned by students and led by Professor Mazvita Machinga. The topic was “My Abilities Are Greater Than My Disabilities.” The symposium spoke of the many ways people with disabilities can contribute to society and should not be dismissed. Bishop Leonard Fairley came and offered prayer and words of encouragement, reminding us that we are all God’s children and should be treated as such.

The evening ended with a meet and greet with some of Africa University’s student leaders and then an evening devotion led by Rev. Susan Jinnett-Sack, superintendent of the Northern Kentucky District.

At our meet and greet, two member of the group traveling from the Kentucky Conference sat at each table and we were joined by anywhere from two to four students. The students shared with us their day-to-day life at AU, but they also went deeper and shared their dreams and frustrations, bits about their home life and upbringing, and their love of the Pan-Africanism that they have at AU. We have heard many times over that they identify as African instead of with their home country.

They also shared what their views were on Americans before they had the chance to interact with them. Rev. William Herndon, director or the UK Wesley Foundation, brought gifts of T-shirts, lanyards and other trinkets to share.
After the meet and greet we went back to the Ubuntu Center, where we are being housed at AU, and for the second night we had a time of quiet reflection and a devotion led by the tour group. Rev. Jinnett-Sack spoke from Luke 8:18 and discussed “see how you hear.” She encouraged us to not only listen, but to hear.

Visit our Photo Gallery to see more photos from the excursion.